Sanity is madness put to good use. – George Santayana
Watch and learn…….
makeminetraumaAugust 31st, 2008 at 2:51 pm
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KristiSeptember 1st, 2008 at 2:29 pm
Thank you for sharing this important and powerful message.
The CurmudgeonSeptember 2nd, 2008 at 2:43 pm
Factually, contrary to what one of the speakers on the video said, Cook County isn’t closing — it is a sinkhole for tax dollars… but it’s also a patronage haven.
MJ, I so agree with the diagnosis… just not with the cure.
Cook County — and all the relatives and hangers-on employed there — shows one danger of government-funded health care.
What about Walter Reed? If the government takes care of anyone well, wouldn’t you think it would be our soldiers? And yet… well, you saw the stories.
I listen with sadness to the stories of people waiting months and years to see specialists… but I read blogs from other countries where this is the norm.
I can’t understand how the same service, by the same doctor, at the same hospital, allegedly costs x for Blue Cross, x+1 for another insurer, and — and this is the insane part — 2x or even 3x for someone who is uninsured. That’s like paying $150 for groceries at the Jewel with Visa… but $175 if I use MasterCard… and $350 if I pay cash.
Medicare already skews our health care system: Though seniors may not make up the majority of the population, they do consume a disproportionate amount of health care services. So everything is Medicare coded. And the actual services provided tend to lose something when translated into Medicare codes. They also cost a lot more… because Medicare pays only a small portion for each coded service. But its OK… because Blue Cross or Aetna pays a lot more for each.
And maybe it’s just me, but I’ve looked at Medicare bills, trying to tie in what’s been billed to the bills I’ve received from the docs or the hospitals. And I have found all sorts of discrepancies (it’s that translation loss when coding thing). I have found providers my client never heard of.
Things are awful now, yes. But why won’t single payer make things much, much worse?
Mother Jones, RNSeptember 2nd, 2008 at 4:10 pm
Things are awful, and they are going to get worse if we don’t take action to assure that every American has assess to health care services. Democrats and Republicans want to do the right thing, but the two parties are miles apart on how to accomplish this goal. Here’s why I favor some form of single payer system:
Many years ago, people with health insurance could get good health care. It was a done deal, but now those days are gone thanks to the insurance industry. HMOs have people on their payroll looking for ways to deny your claim, and to put roadblocks up so you can’t get care. Just because you’re carrying a plastic insurance card doesn’t mean that you have health care coverage. It’s a game. Insurance companies started requiring “referrals” many years ago as a way of blocking access to care. As, a nurse, I’ve watched HMOs grow into the mutated monsters. It makes me mad as hell when my patients can’t get access to care, even with insurance. Today, I’m very careful about embedding key words into a patient’s chart so their claim will not be denied, and even then, the hospital has to fight in order to get paid. Believe me, HMOs are all about making money and they won’t stop until your bank account is stripped clean. People with medicare have better health care coverage than the rest of us. It’s really sad, but I can’t afford to be a patient at my own hospital. We are all paying more and getting less. So, back to my point. People who don’t want a single payer system are a afraid of a longer wait time for for care, higher taxes, and an over all lower quality health care system. And that’s my point. We already have a longer wait time for care, even if you’re even allowed by the HMO to seek care in the first place, higher premiums and copays (instead of higher taxes) and a health care system that’s in shambles. A single payer system will help more people in the end. Please, if anyone has a better plan, run for political office. Seriously, I’ll send you money for your campaign.
The CurmudgeonSeptember 3rd, 2008 at 1:59 pm
I can’t argue with your criticisms of HMO’s, nor do I have the Time (*ahem*) to talk about some of the horrible behaviors I’ve seen from some private, non-HMO insurers. There’s one in particular — I won’t name names because I haven’t got the Time (*ahem*) to explain all the details… just suffice it to say that this company has found a way to insure only healthy people. Have a claim during the first year of the policy and get ready to fight a rescission action.
Even so, I am terribly afraid of a national health system. Greedy, steely-eyed, capitalistic, robber baron swine can be regulated (and litigated) into semi-human behavior patterns — but national health would only provide a giant sinecure for vacant-eyed, knuckle-dragging, close-minded, inflexible bureaucrats and their various spouses, in-laws, children and idiot nephews. I would never say that all government workers fit this description — but there is no government agency on any level in which this group is unrepresented. In Chicago we are saturated. Thus, my fear.
I agree something has to change.
I’ve been intrigued lately by some grass-roots, marketplace developments. Middle Son, for example, had to have a physical for his college baseball program: He got it at Walgreen’s. For $20. No waiting two weeks for an internist… just walk in and walk out. And apparently the local drug stores are offering a lot of these minor, sneezing and sniffles type services at affordable prices. Would that be progress? Insure against catastrophic illnesses only and pay retail for most services? A booth in a drug store has a low overhead… and if you don’t need to have a person (or two) full time on staff to code bills and file insurance claims… maybe you can make a good living and charge a lot less?
I’m not stating with certainty here. But I’m asking. Because I’m really hoping for an alternative other than national health and what we have now….
rnjennySeptember 3rd, 2008 at 10:37 pm
curmudgeon-you make an excellent point with your walgreens example-Put people in control of their health care dollars. Americans are shoppers-let us shop and find the deal we need for our health. One size doesnt fit all.
As consumers, what do we care if a drug that works costs 100 dollars or 20 dollars as long as we only have a 15 dollar copay. Instead we bitch about what our insurance costs because thats where we pay. Mistake.
In our community, a couple of nurses started their own “urgent care” in an office 3 days a week. for 20 bucks you get seen, get a prescription or whatever, vaccination etc, they order xrays at the local hospital if you need em and on you go-no insurance billing, no crap. It takes a load of sniffles off the ER, its less than your copay would be,they keep late hours so your kid can get their ear infection taken care of or their school physical. everybody is happy and its affordable. You gotta think out of the box a little bit, and a single payer system isnt the solution, it would compound the problem.
Mother Jones, RNSeptember 3rd, 2008 at 10:49 pm
RNjenny: I would gladly pay a $20 copay for meds, but unfortunately, our copay for any medication is going through the roof. I can’t afford to buy my meds anymore. Please email me privately and tell me more about private clinic set up by the nurses in your community. My email address is motherjonesrn AT Yahoo Dot com.
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